The protocol of test and removal for the elimination of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus was applied to an 825-sow breeding herd. All the adult animals were tested and serum samples analysed by ELISA and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Eighty-eight animals (10.7 per cent) were removed from the herd and, of these, three were ELISA-positive and PCR-positive, and 85 were ELISA-positive and PCR-negative. They tended to be either individual sows, or groups of four to six animals housed in adjacent gestation stalls. Four of the ELISA-positive, PCR-negative sows were slaughtered and PRRS virus nucleic acid was detected in a sample of sternal lymph node from one of them. After the completion of the test and removal protocol, the breeding and finishing populations were monitored for 12 consecutive months by ELISA. The 960 samples taken were negative for PRRS virus antibodies.